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December 5, 2023

Tweed council still trucking hundreds of flood waste loads

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More than 63,000 tonnes of flood waste, mud, debris and asbestos had been collected during the Tweed’s 2022 flood recovery clean-up operation by early June. PIC: SUPPLIED

An average of a hundred truckloads of flood debris per day is still being collected in the Tweed Shire, months after climate disasters devastated the region.

The update came more than two months after the most recent disasters on the Northern Rivers in late March, and more than three months after the 28 February floods and landslides.

The council released information in early June stating more than 63,000 tonnes of flood waste, including household goods, mud, debris and asbestos, had been collected via its kerbside collection program.

More than 18,000 tonnes of the flood waste collected had come from properties, homes and businesses across the Tweed, the council said.

The figure was understood to have excluded waste people took to the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre themselves.

Council workers had already collected more debris and waste than collected after ex-Cyclone Debbie in 2017 and the job was expected to last another few months.

Floods from ex-Cyclone Debbie led to 45,000 tonnes of waste collected, including nearly 20,000 tonnes of household waste and about 25,000 tonnes of excavated material.

Flood cleanup and trauma continue

Cleanup crews also collected and disposed of more than 1,440 tonnes of Asbestos Containing Material from the Tweed and surrounding local government areas where flood-affected facilities meant the toxic material couldn’t be processed.

Flood waste collected at Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre was processed and exported to a commercial landfill in south-east Queensland, with the council thanking the Queensland Government for waiving usual waste levies and the NSW Government for paying transport costs.

Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry was quoted saying the official end of the kerbside collection was a relief but there was still a long way to go for many residents suffering from the trauma of the disaster.

Road crews clearing up debris from a landslide at the top of Clothiers Creek Road. An average of 100 truckloads of mud and debris are still being collected every day from across the Tweed. PIC: SUPPLIED

Tweed council promises to reuse flood waste where possible

Meanwhile, workers were to continue a roadside clean-up for many months, the council said, with an average of a hundred truckloads of waste still collected each day in June.

Excavated material such as soil, mud, rocks and fallen trees from landslips, blocked culverts and roadside drains were still being collected and removed from what the council described as Tweed’s ‘battered’ road network.

Excavated materials were to be used on various projects around the Tweed wherever possible in line with council sustainability initiatives.

Residents interested in getting fill material could make an online request.

No more free truckloads of waste in Lismore

Elsewhere on the Northern Rivers, other local governments were  reducing the scale of their flood clean-ups.

The Lismore City Council said on Friday workers would start removing community skip bins from around the city centre from Tuesday, 14 June.

A temporary and free flood waste transfer station would be set up at the Recycling & Recovery Centre on Wyrallah Road, East Lismore, the council said.

The station was exclusively for trailer and ute loads, the council said, as opposed to truck loads.

Flood-affected building waste would be accepted for free but building waste from repairs and rebuilds would incur usual fees.

Anyone unable to take flood affected waste to the transfer station was advised to register for kerbside pickup by telephoning the Lismore City Council on 6625 0500.

Insurance companies to pay for flood recovery and rebuild waste

The Ballina Shire Council had also finished its flood kerbside waste collection and a free drop-off service had also finished.

Residents with ‘exceptional circumstances’ preventing them from taking flood-damaged waste to the council’s Waste Management Centre were advised to call 6686 1287 or email [email protected] to discuss eligibility for free flood waste disposal, information on the council’s website said.

Eligibility will depend on individual circumstances, including if a resident has insurance coverage for disposal while residents with insured properties were told to contact their insurance companies to manage flood waste ‘and any associated renovation works’, the council said.

Byron rural communities still getting help with waste cleanup

In the Byron Shire, the council advised in late May that its flood waste collections and free drop off had finished.

Anyone unable to access the free drop off or collections was asked to call the council’s Resource Recovery Hotline on 1300 652 625.

The council said any items put out on the kerbside or roadside would be considered illegal dumping but it would continue to work with rural communities challenged by unreliable road access.

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